Net Neutrality and Future Legacies

I’d like to comment quickly on the net neutrality issue. The Web thus far is a system–that from the beginning–essentially anyone could access in a like manner. A few companies have a strong interest in changing that though, in making, what I understand, are something like tiers of accessibility. Considering the life and social changes that have taken place as provoked by the new sorts of creative innovation the Web has fostered, I think changes limiting Net interoperation are incredibly bad ideas. A basic idea Tim Berners-Lee puts forward is

“Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it.”

This may sound abstract to some but Bob Frankston wrote an entertaining piece that illustrates the unsavoury results of losing such freedom. For a thorough and technical analysis, I find Daniel Weitzner’s text on The Neutral Internet: An Information Architecture for Open Societies interesting.

The thing is, whatever starts taking place, technologically or in government policy now is going to be around for a while. People will adapt, install, and use software that is based on or otherwise enforces such technologies and policies. That means we have to imagine the consequences of a future saddled with the legacies we’re creating now. I hope we act to keep our liberty intact.

Open Source Database and OS Demand Stats

A few articles about open source database growth made the rounds recently. Mostly these discuss a rise in growth, for example the EnterpriseDB survey notes

More than half of all survey respondents indicated that their respective companies had either already deployed an open source database or were more likely to deploy an open source database than any other open source application, including CRM, desktop productivity, and ERP. The survey was sponsored and administered by EnterpriseDB.

Gartner too published some stats on database growth, though of a slightly different nature.

The combined category of open source database management systems vendors, which includes MySQL and Ingres, showed the strongest growth, although it was one of the smallest revenue bases,” said Colleen Graham, principal analyst at Gartner.

These are all interesting so I thought I’d post a few stats TEC tracks about enterprise end user demand. We find out what companies are looking for as requirements for implementing different enterprise systems (ERP, CRM, SCM, etc.). It might be valuable to compare these different sources and types of stats for an overall picture.

According to our tracking of about 3,000 different users, the following numbers signify the percent of those users that selected each of these platforms as a technology requirement for their enterprise software selections (such as an ERP, CRM, SCM, etc. system). Note that we ask about some other platforms too but I’ve omitted those stats–they account for very small percentages.

DBMS Q1 2005 Q2 2005 Q1 2006
IBM DB2 7 7.2 7
Microsoft SQL Server 35.9 37.6 36.4
MySQL 8.9 9.6 12.7
Oracle 20.4 21 20.6
PostgreSQL 3.1 2.8 3.5
Hosted solution (not installed on a customer server) 0.5 0.6 3.4
Server Q1 2005 Q2 2005 Q1 2006
IBM iSeries (AS/400) 7.6 7.1 7.4
Linux (such as SUSE, Red Hat, or Debian) 11.8 11.4 12.9
Unix (such as Solaris or AIX) 13.3 12.7 11.5
Windows Server (such as NT/2000/XP) 54.2 54.2 49.4
Hosted solution (not installed on a customer server) 0.7 1.7 5.4

It’s pretty clear that we have not seen great changes in demand for Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM systems, but MySQL certainly has increased in 2006 over 2005 and PostgreSQL has been working its way up. I happen to know that so far for Q2 2006, the open source systems are set to surpass the previous quarters’ demand.

So while Gartner is calling attention to strong growth but small revenue bases, perhaps one could look at the direction the demand is moving in (based on the Enterprise DB survey and TEC’s stats) and guess that the revenue base may be ready to change.